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Robinson defiant over ref rant, while Politis says NRL has made game ‘worse’

Robinson tees off, but rattled refs held to ransom by revolving rule book

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Defiant Roosters coach Trent Robinson said he stood by what he said in the aftermath of Friday’s fractious showdown with South Sydney, and would say it all over again, even though it cost the club $30,000.

And just to show the Roosters haven’t been cowed by being whacked by the NRL in fines, their chairman Nick Politis has launched a stinging attack on the competition organisers.

The Roosters were fined for their reaction to Latrell Mitchell’s hit on Joseph Manu that ended both players’ seasons.

Robinson was fined $20,000 for his comments plus a suspended fine of $10,000 was activated.

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The Roosters copped a further $10,000 fine for what the NRL found was abuse of sideline officials.

Jared Waerea-Hargreaves is still be investigated after an alleged altercation with a TV cameraman.

“Obviously I accepted the breach for myself and the club the other day, so I understand that,” Robinson told a media conference on Wednesday.

“The stuff that I said in the game, I stand by what I said in that game post-match and my views on that.

“I also understand the NRL has to act on some things that I said and that’s the balance of our game, I’m going to give my opinion on that.”

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He asked if he was upset that the NRL later stood down video referee Henry Perenara and announced he should have recommended Mitchell had been sent off.

“No, I don’t think so,” said Robinson, but added: “We felt there was an injustice and we reacted towards that. I understand we need to be better as well. I don’t feel slighted, opinions are always going to be mixed. There were a lot of things I was proud of in the way we handled things, and there’s also some lessons there.

“It’s happened but let’s go, let’s keep moving forward. Naturally, people want to swing it a certain way but nobody wins in these situations.

“I fully understand where the fine comes from, I know there was language you can’t use.

“But I would sit in there and deliver the same post-match press conference that I delivered and that doesn’t mean any disrespect to the NRL. I understand their decision, but they also have to understand my position. And I stand behind that.”

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Politis, meanwhile, criticised the NRL over the state of the competition and warned fans would desert the sport if rules aren’t wound back, reports AAP.

The first full year of set restarts has resulted in the highest-scoring season in 20 years, with average margins also at the highest level since the Super League war.

The Roosters remain one of the clubs largely benefiting from the faster game, with the likes of James Tedesco keeping them in the hunt despite a multitude of injuries.

But Politis remains unimpressed.

The long-time Roosters chairman said the game was nothing like it was in decades gone by, and claimed fans of many teams would lose hope next season if set restart rules didn’t go away.

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“I think (the product) is worse,” Politis told Roosters Radio.

“If you’re a fan of one of those eight teams at the bottom without attacking players, I think their fans are going to get really pissed off and turn off the TV.

“You can’t keep watching your team keep losing by 30 or 40 or 50 or 60 points week after week.

“That’s the thing I am always arguing with the NRL, we need to go back to the game we’ve had, and had for over 100 years.”

In a record-breaking season of rugby league, Melbourne are on the verge of the greatest points-scoring year of all time while also becoming the first team to pass 40 at least 10 times.

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Manly’s back three have also set try-scoring records, while South Sydney became the first team in history to score 30 points in eight straight games.

But there has been another side to those figures.

For the first time in history, two sides will qualify for the finals with a negative for-and-against.

Average margins have this year have blown out to beyond three converted tries for the first time in the NRL-era, surpassing the mark of 16.8 from 2002.

Round 16 was the most lopsided in two decades, prompting ARL Commission chairman Peter V’landys to launch an impassioned defence of the game’s rules.

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At the time, V’landys claimed it was on struggling clubs to adapt to the rules given the game had merely taken away their chance to slow down the ruck and create a stop-start game.

NRL CEO Andrew Abdo also said over the weekend that the game was in a consolidation phase with rules, after a fan survey showed 65 per cent of respondents thought the speed was “just right”.

But Politis isn’t convinced battling teams will adapt.

“If we don’t go back to where we were and change some of those rules back, right now we can all predict next year’s outcome,” he said.

“The same three or four or five clubs will be at the top. There won’t be a change.

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“Most the clubs don’t have those attacking players, there’s not enough of those players to go around for all 16 clubs competitive with the new rules.”



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